Tag Archives: partying

The Christian Hokey-Pokey

Revelation 3:16

          But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!

  Galatians 5:22-23NLT

            But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

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 Do you remember the children’s song The Hokey Pokey?  It is a song where you physically have to move and place parts of your body into the circle.  You start with your hands then your feet, move on to your shoulders and then your hips.  As the song progresses, eventually you put your whole body in the circle.  Fun song to dance to and really great for getting everyone involved, but I feel God showed me something the other day related to the Christian walk.

Let’s say the inner part of the circle is the world and the place where we stand is the new creation in Christ which occurred when you asked Jesus into your heart.  When we decide to allow Jesus to be the ruler of our lives we are covered by grace, forgiven of past, present and future sins and as we begin to seek the face of God we begin to make better choices regarding our lives….right?  Well sometimes we as Christians still like to put our hands and feet into sin or return to familiar places from the past.  It might start our small and then you add another part of you, suddenly your whole-self is in the world and you have forgotten you were a Christian at all.

Let’s use drinking as an example.  (not picking on anyone it’s just for example purposes)  I will even use myself as the model.  I accepted Jesus when I was six.  Tried to live the good life.  Was kind to everyone and tried my best to be good.  At the age of 12 I was in a regular church going every Sunday and Wednesday, I surely was on my way to living the Christian life, then peer pressure arrived on my doorstep.

You may not think that I am the type of person who does things just to fit in, however I still have my days where I feel very insignificant in this world.  I started drinking with a few of my friends at one of their houses.  We did it the “safe” way.  Keys were taken and everyone stayed the night.  I wasn’t sure if it was what I wanted to do but after years of being teased at school I chose to “fit it” and go with the crowd and drink.  It turned into pretty much a weekly process…Brenda would drink and be the first one passed out on the floor after getting sick….yup my version of fitting in.

As I got older and could drink in the bar I would drink and dance, wear things really not appropriate and I will share something with you that I have not spilled out to too many people but I feel it is significant for someone reading this.  One night after several drinks the bar tender invited me to his house.  Long story short I ended up under the covers with him and if I ever had believed in God, I really felt His presence in that moment.  It was like suddenly I was sober just before I wandered into something that would have ruined my life, God gave me the sound mind to get out of the situation.  I pushed him away and jumped out of bed, got dressed and ran.  I think God was protecting me from something horrible in that moment.  This ended my bar days, yet there was more to come, I was not done with drinking yet.

Soon after this I met my first husband and we drank together but not a lot.  I remember my 21st birthday party in my dad’s garage where I asked him when he was going to ask me to marry him (mind you we had only dated for 2 months) and he asked me on the spot.  Both totally drunk, I found out YEARS later that he had told his best friend that he had hoped I was too drunk to remember he had asked.  Eventually I lost my desire for drinking, mainly due to the fact that after the birth of my son, I decide someone needed to be sober for my child. .

Do you see what I mean about being Christian but really dabbling in the world?  Once I decided to have Jesus in my life I should have been staying away from sin but instead, only because I wanted to fit in, I chose to drink.  Satan took that one time of saying yes and ran with it.  I am sure he was out to ruin my life, however God had other plans.

The point of all of this is that when we choose to be saved by grace we need to learn how not to live halfway in the world and the other half for Jesus.  We should be at a place where we want to sin less and please God more.  God desires us to be on fire for Him and if we are playing Hokey Pokey it is hard for people to see God at all in our lives.  We should be displaying God in our daily lives by not swearing or hurting other people with our words.  We should be careful what we post on Facebook especially if we are part of a ministry…what is appropriate for adults may not be for the young teens you are ministering too.  I am not perfect and I have my moments, yet I know in my heart of hearts we have to choose to represent God to the world or be turned away from Jesus for being lukewarm.

 

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Judgement or Encouragement

Romans 14:19

So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up
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How we do we know the difference between judging someone for where they stand with God and encouraging them to dip their toe a little deeper into the river of life?  Sometimes we see bothers and sisters in Christ struggling with so many things and having walked a certain path we know where our help comes from and we have this desire to show them the way to hope, yet they think we are judging them for where they are.  Soon we are arguing about who is right and what is wrong; soon the scene seems to become so hopeless.
There are many hurting people out there and sadly lots  of them are Christians who know God has a plan for their lives and He is their help in present time.  I just want to shake them until they get it, yet I know it is best to just love them where they are at.  I always joke about how I can post something cheesy about God on Facebook and 12 plus people will like it but the moment I mention revival I barely can get any response.  I guess what I am trying to say is that revival changed my life when it came to nearby church.  I have not been the same since I fell in love with Jesus again and I just want others to experience this too.
I wish I could show people just how much can change in your life when you begin to seek a body of Christ to be a part of.  I know the church is not a physical building but rather the church is alive in each of us and moves about the earth proclaiming Jesus is Lord.  Yet I know in my heart of hearts that if I did not have an actual group of Christians to hang out with I would surely have slipped into my old ways.
Let me be real for a moment.  When I separated from my first husband I was so broken and in need of love that I might have fallen into so many traps if I had not been in an actual church.  I might have gone back to my partying days or started sleeping around with other men.  Had it not been for the good group of people I was surrounded by I may have just left God all together.  I was so hurt I would have done anything for love even if it was the wrong kind, yet I was held true to God through the entire process.  I respected the love God had for me enough to know I did not want to wander back into my old style of living.
If onlys flood my mind as I try to convey this message.  If only they would go to church…if only they would surrender it all…if only they would choose worship music to listen to….if only they would stop using drugs and  alcohol as a hiding place…if only they would choose to come to revival….if only they would want to change…if only they would love my Jesus like I do.  Nope, I am not perfect in any way, shape or form, but I know there is a God who loves me unconditionally, no matter where I am at and I have this desire to do the same for His people.
So call it judging if you want to but I just want you to know the love of Jesus in your life.  I want you to allow God to radically change you.  I want you to press in and reach the hem of Jesus’ garment.  I want you to be healed and whole so that together as a church body we can bring the light of Jesus to a lost and dying world.  This is why I invite you to revival over and over again.  This is why I invite you to join our women’s group week after week.  This is why I plaster my Facebook wall with Jesus stuff….it’s not because I am religious but because I want you to feel this love.